Ugh. i love them.
Okay man. Oxtail. The most simple, easy way. Just for you.
Let’s just be real here. A lot of people haven’t been eating oxtail until recently. Which is tragic, because everyone else in the world been eating em, and the ancestors been eating em, but y’all went and got bougie and ain’t wanna eat the “awful offal”. In more recent years, some fancy person put oxtail on their menu, and us normal, and poor folk, haven’t been able to get oxtail for the same price ever again.
If you are however, one of the few who maybe had some Islander friends or family, maybe you’ve had the pleasure of have some oxtail with peas and rice. Maybe, if you’re one of the lucky ones, your Granny been making oxtail for you for a long time before they were cool. But now, you’re here, because you wanna be able to make em on your own. I’m here for you. I support you.
Making your own oxtail isn’t for the person who wants a quick meal. Oxtail....they take time. They take love. They take patience. You’re about to make some of the most tough cuts of meat (think how much a cows tail is always just swangin’ and swatting’. Those things never stop moving), and you’re about to turn it into one of the most juicy, fatty, succulent, savory, tender, satisfying, finger licking, bone suckin’, get nasty wit it meals of all time.
LET’S GET IT
First thing-preheated oven to about 325, 350 if you want. Low and slow is always better to me though.
Aite, so. I rinse my oxtail in cold water. Yeah yeah, *insert repetitive conversation and argument on if you should wash your meat with water, or vinegar, or citrus, or if at all here*. I ain going back and forth with you chern. Rinse or don’t. Anyways, I rinse all the extra blood and juice and water that’s been sitting in the package with the oxtail. I then dry the oxtail really well with paper towels. In your bowl, season and then flour them bad boys.
While your fixing your oxtail, cut up your celery, carrots, and onion! Then get your Dutch oven or skillet hot (I like to heat it up on medium high). THEN add your oil. Always hot pan first, then cold oil. Here I did some olive oil and some vegetable oil. Turn your stove down to medium.
Next, add your oxtail. Keep that bowl with the leftover flour and seasoning that your oxtail were in!! This was my first time using this Dutch oven, so some of my seasonings started to look scorched (sad day). No worries tho, my meat still got perfectly brown and I just removed a bit of the seasoning with a paper towel. Brown your oxtail on all sides, then remove. You aren’t looking to cook the oxtail at this point-this is for color, and flavor.
Take your oxtail out, and add your veggies. You want to not cook the veggies, but really get some color and flavor and to start their cooking process. Remember, these are gonna cook for hours and break down with your oxtail. I’d cook these until your onions just start to soften.
Remember that bowl with your extra flour and seasoning that didn’t stick to your oxtail? Add a little salt, and about three cups of water and mix well. Pour this directly into the pot with your vegetables. Now, if you’re using a cast iron skillet or baking dish for your oxtail to cook in, obviously make sure it’s deep enough to have the oxtail, vegetables, and liquid in. If not, add less liquid at this stage, and add more as needed as it cooks.
*You can substitute beef stock/broth for water, or some of each*
Okay, so. Bimm. If you have any of the optional items listed above, this is when you add em. And also when you add your bay leaves. I personally put about a teaspoon of Worcestershire, and about a tablespoon and a half of dark soy. Dark soy sauce has much more of a molasses, sweet, syrupy flavor and texture compared to the soy sauce we are commonly used to. Both of these condiments are completely optional, but add depth of flavor, and beautiful color! I think I also tossed in a beef bullion cube and let it all simmer for about five minutes. Add your oxtail back in. If you are using a baking dish, I’d add your liquid in first, VERY CAREFULLY, then add your oxtail. Cover tightly with foil if you’re using a dish or cast iron skillet. If you’re using your Dutch oven, put the lid on and stick it in the oven!
This is after about two and a half hours. I put my oxtail in around 3pm, so I could eat a later dinner around 8. At this point, you should stir and continue to taste for flavor, every 30 minutes. Add what you’d like, as you need. Remember, if your cooking liquid isn’t flavorful, neither will your oxtail be. You’ll also see the drastic difference in how much the liquid has cooked down. This is gonna make your lovely gravy.
At about three and a half hours, I took my lid off, added some chopped parsley amd a mixture of about a cup of water to a teaspoon of flour, well mixed. This thickens up, and brings your gravy together while the parsley adds a fresh bite. Let cook for another 15-30 minutes.
After about four hours, you have the most fall apart, tender, flavorful, oxtail. Your vegetables have cooked and softened. Your gravy is ready to go. Your oxtail has broken down and alllllll that fat, marrow, and flavor is just sitting there. Waiting for you. It really is ridiculous how good this shxt is.
That’s it tho y’all boy. Easy right? It’s not even time consuming, it just cooks for a while. You do a little Work to get a lot of flavor and the itis. I usually (always) have mine with rice, some times Mac and cheese, maybe peas of some sort, maybe potatoes. What ever makes you happy. Tell me what y’all think, leave a comment, and Stay Mixxy.